The police department’s main role is preventing criminal activity and apprehending criminals. While implementing these roles, members of the society expect the police to show commitment to their professional codes of conduct. Despite of this, it is still common to find some element of laxity. Racial profiling of criminals also continues to occur in some segments of police service. There are also members of the police force that show little support for community policing. Hence, in order to establish a good balance between the police officers’ roles and the society they serve, there is a need for effective solutions to be implemented.
There are situations in which the police officers fail to follow the legislative requirements that govern their actions. For example, the Miranda laws regarding criminal apprehension are sometimes not followed, which impacts negatively on the image of the police department. Consequently, the relationship between the police officers and members of the society becomes degraded. In addition, there are special codes of conduct governing the manner, in which communication should be carried out between the police and members of the public. However, this is not always the case in informal settings. For example, there are situations in which a police officer may enter a social arena and use obscene language to get the people’s attention. This degrades the professional status expected from the police officers. In essence, in as much as members of the police force enforce legislations passed by the legislature, they are also required to follow the procedural guidelines passed by the courts (Kappeler & Gaines, 2011). The best way to address this problem is to conduct staff improvement programs that focus on laws.
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Racial profiling is another area, where police officers are increasingly showing fundamental weakness. Hagan (2010) describes racial profiling in the police department as a practice by some police departments to embrace discriminatory methods by stopping and searching an unbalanced number of blacks and minorities, especially in traffic stops. Such discriminatory practices affect the confidence of the affected group. As a result, members belonging to the affected groups may start exhibiting fear of victimization. This practice of selective justice has taken toll of the police force such that criminal profiles tend to focus on particular races. For example, as blacks make up only 12% of the United State’s total population, more than half of the nation’s detainees are black (Hagan, 2010). To address this issue, the police need to develop a positive criminal profiling method, in which race is not given priority.
Finally, the recent launch of a community policing framework was intended to improve cooperation between members of the community and the police in revealing criminal activity. However, there are instances, when the police force fails to provide assistance to community members. Community policing requires police departments to develop suitable programs to help those who are disadvantaged in the community (Kappeler & Gaines, 2009). Its aim is to provide an alternative framework for addressing crime in the society. According to Kappeler and Gaines (2009), “within this framework, the police should identify practices that effectively counter crime” (p.270). For example, if the community police targets drugs in the society, drug offenders need to be brought on board, but it does not mean they should be arrested without evidence. The best solution for the police department is to empower minorities affected by crime to formulate decisions in an integrated format (Kappeler & Gaine, 2009). Using this mechanism, it will be possible to protect the interest of the society.
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